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Everything posted by murmsk

  1. I don't think you can look to biology for answers The word "life" has several meanings. The truth is parts of the human body will "live" for quite awhile after what we term death occurs. Brain activity is often used as a marker for live when reality is it more a marker for viability. When an organism loses brain activity the chance viability of the greater organism is essentially zero at this point in our current understanding of medicine. There was a time when heart activity was a marker. My point is .....trying to find a biological marker of life or viability that can be agreed on so the discussion can move on just isn't going to happen. The question is simply this, Does society have the right to decide things like this? If the answer is NO then we as individuals have the obligation to search our heart for an answer on how we will live our life. If the answer is YES the we as society members have to search our heart for our vote and accept the will of others as well as the fact that these are seldom decisions for all time which means the discussion will continue. steve
  2. I have several problems with this discussion. Pulling bible individual verses to support or not support an issue assumes an inerrant bible. I also seriously doubt that the concept of abortion was even on the map and even if it was I would suspect the resistance would come from medical risk to the mother rather than any moralistic statement especially considering how the Jews of that era felt about women that bleed. I have been present in the OR during late term abortions and early term births and I see very little difference between the two other than how the fetus is treated after removal from the woman's body. If you see a life as sacred it is hard not to be moved by this. When I was younger and was not ready to be a father I was very pro-choice.......now I am not sure. Early term the situation gets much grayer. If I put myself in the place of a fetus.... would I want to be born to someone who didn't want me .... Or would I rather not be born? I think I would choose the latter and save or recycle my sole for another time. I tend to look at the overarching bible stories to try and gain a sense of where God might stand and I suspect he would side on the side of grace. That said ... I still can't don't have a firm enough grasp to enforce my opinions on others. steve
  3. Sometimes it is very difficult to discuss issues that involve discrimination without it getting personal since discrimination is itself is very very personal. Further Re-read MLK's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail " and substitute Gay(or any other discriminated group) for Negro and tell it doesn't ring true. On a happier note it was hard to look at the results of the last election and not feel that the ball for legalization of same-sex marriage isn't rolling down hill! steve
  4. If my memory serves, I read somewhere that the Sabbath changed from the 7th day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday) when the Christian Worshipers merged the Sun Worshipers several hundred years after Jesus died. steve
  5. It seems to me that there are 2 separate issues. Marriage and unions. One is religious .... Marriage, and one is legal ..... unions. Yes you can have one without the other. Most societies have decided that unions between two people that forms a family unit deserves some rules with respect to finances and behavior. Some are in reference to children and some are not. I struggle to see a situation where where limiting this to only heterosexual couples wouldn't be discrimination. Marriage is religious and thus is a decision of the church. Our church for instance has decided that marriage is a covenant between two people who choose to merge their lives infront of God. Their genders are irrelevant. We marry people regardless of the legality of the union. With respect to logic . There really is very little logic associated with religion. To have a discussion about about the logic of a thought , there has to be come common facts that everyone agrees on. I see nothing that is universally agreed on. steve
  6. I would think a mixed faith tradition marrage would be very difficult if one views faith traditions in exclusive terms. If I felt the only way to heaven was through Jesus or the Koran then it seems to me that problems are bound to happen. After all who wants their spouse or children going to hell. If on the other hand both spouses admit that God can be approached through Jesus, Buda . Koran ....... with equal ease then mutual respect begins. steve
  7. I had a Latin professor years ago who said the sole purpose of language and words is to communicate thoughts and concepts. It is the responsibility of the speaker(writer) to use words that will most perfectly communicate these thoughts. This conversation was used during a discussion of cuss words and that there may be times and audiences where cuss words are necessary. With respect to this conversation ... if the word "evangelical" does not communicate to the audience what the communicator is trying to communicate then we need to find another word. For me I never call myself a "Christian " anymore due to the fact I don't want to be thought of as being a conservative Christian. I now am a Follower of Jesus. Lead by example. Our church "evangelizes" by being active and visible in caring for the least of us . Being active and visible in speaking out against religious bigotry to name a few. When people ask "why do you do the things you do? We tell them. We recently watched a youtube debate between Jim Wallis and a Southern Baptist discussing whether faith and justice is at the core of the Christian commandment. It was an interesting debate not for what was said as that was predictable but rather if you read between the lines their ideas of the core purpose of the church was radically different. Jim Wallis's view was the church is what it does and centers around Jesus's directive to love your neighbor and whatever is done to the least is done to me. Where as the SB guy was felt the core tenet is to make converts. steve
  8. It is interesting how we get caught up with words. When our congregation re-planted itself 2 years ago we call our self a Progressive, Missional Faith Community. We spent considerable time studying what it meant and used the 8 points as the starting point for the progressive discussion. Toward the end of the discussion on of our older ladies rose to say that she agreed with the 8 points but had some issue with the word progressive stating "we have always followed those". Sometimes I think we like labels not because they say who we are but rather who we are not. In my case it is the latter. To me the word "evangelical " means one who consciously spreads the word because it is a core tenet of ones faith. with the emphasis on CORE TENET. To me there is a difference between spreading the word because I have been commanded to (and it will get me to heaven), and spreading the word because I find it to have enriched my life and maybe it would enrich yours. steve
  9. Letting my self accept what I already knew in my heart that it is not what you believe that is important but how you live. steve
  10. I think it is a good idea. I don't know how to put this without being offensive but I will try. This can be a very intimidating place for the average run of the mill person who is questioning. Most who of us who post here are well above average in intelligence and the writings reflect that. In addition most are mature in their faith. This would be very difficult for a person new to PC to understand. A place where "high english" is not spoken would be a good thing and a place where folks won;t feel out of place would be good as well. steve
  11. The real question is.... Does one live their life differently depending on ones belief in an afterlife? I think not...... steve
  12. Well I can see situations where there could be a loving, non-dominating relationship between three adults especially if bisexuality is involved. The reason I ask is it is a bit outside my current comfort zone as homosexuality once was. With respect to my current discomfort, my brain tells me it is another prejudice. I was wondering how others view it? steve
  13. we all will find out one one of these days hopefull later rather than sooner. steve
  14. Many of these rituals may have been a response to a problem/issue that a people had. example might be: a village was having trouble with people getting sick from food (poorly preserved or something like mushrooms where some are good and some are poison) so the church leaders decide all food has to be checked by , you guessed it, the church ....dah dah .... Kosher foods Bead colors might be harder to explain. steve
  15. I currently am of the opinion that there is very little if any room for the word BELIEF in a thinking persons vocabulary. steve
  16. I Cringe When I Remember....... The church NOT supporting civil rights, the church fostering the concept that a womans place is in the kitchen, (Oh that still goes on in certain circles) the church championing the idea that being gay is a sin (oh that is still going on too), the church NOT welcoming someone who is different (oh, that still goes on too), the church teaching that God is to be feared. (again still an active part of church teachings) the list goes on.... At least there hasn't been a Christian Crusade in my lifetime steve
  17. Is God a Christian?: Creating a Community of Conversation by R. Kirby Godsey (May 31, 2011) Dr. Godsey makes the assertion early in the book that there will never be world peace until the faith traditions of the world learn respect one another. Respect is birthed by open minded understanding. This book is basically a challenge to the faithful to put in the effort to learn about one another. steve
  18. I think this question is indicative of the problems todays faith practitioners faces. The question should read " I do __________ because I am a Christian". Progressive Faith is a faith of addition not subtraction. I think Jesus was a man of addition. steve
  19. reading "Reading the Bible AGAIN for the first time" By Marcus Borg I showed me I wasn't along in looking for a way to walk the path and not check my brain at the trailhead. ve ste
  20. Many have asked the same question. For me, it lead me here.... it lead me to the realization that the basic premise shouldn't make sense to anyone because the basic premise of the church isn't the basic premise of Jesus. Does it make sense that a loving God would kill the first born of everyone in town except those who smeared blood on their mailbox? If you read the bible looking for the BIG picture taking into consideration who it was written for then it begins to make sense. If you look at the bible as how the early followers of Jesus saw things and lose the inerrency, then things look a bit clearer. Biblical historians suggest that substitutionary atonement is a fairly recent construct of the Church. The idea of Jesus dying for me didn't make any sense until I realized that Martin Luther King dyed for me too. He died because of the sins of my fore-bearers, he died so I could see the light and he died so my children would grow up not knowing a bigots heart. God didn't kill him ( MLK or Jesus) ... the sins of the people did. Another issue that I have passed by is that of heaven and hell. Would a loving God send one of his wayward children to eternal Hell? Would a loving set up a game of life so God can decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell? Especially one that is so fear based. When I quit trying to make sense out of things that couldn't . When I started reading the bible looking for wisdom instead of rules. When I looked for the big biblical picture and considered who the bible was written for..... everything made perfect sense. I then was a follower of Jesus . Get the book : reading the bible for the first time... again by Marcus Borg and "Meeting Jesus for the first time ... again" also by Borg. steve
  21. I live quite close to Nauvoo where the Morman population and influence is growing .They are good people and no different that any other fundamental Christian sect. Their actions should come as no surprise if one considers their goals and motivations (which are the same as any other Fundi church) . The question for or about Romney ( and everyone else in public office ) is ... If the good and welfare of the country conflicts with the good and welfare of the church ... who wins. To put it another way does Romney have the ability to make a decision that goes against the church? I was the same question posed to JFK. To me it has less to do with the church and more to do with the individual. Anyone who believes anything is infallible has blinders on and will be prone to bad decisions. Frankly Santorium/Huckabey et al scares me more that Romney in that regard. steve
  22. If you were reading literature from a church , what words or expressions would suggest to you that this was a place where you might be comfortable? I will throw out a few... welcoming , inclusive, open thanks steve
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